A powerhouse couple with an unfettered love for Jesus, Aylwin and Sue Skelchy have found their unique life purpose: helping the next generation build and discover their destiny.
“Would you like to come over to our place for the interview?” The question was startling — who would invite a complete stranger into their home? A few days later, I found myself seated in the living room of Aylwin and Sue’s beautiful home, and after three hours, it all made sense.
Their story is inspiring to say the least: a meet-cute, divine encounters, social transformation and professional football. And of course, a plot twist or two. But at the heart of it, this story is really just about two people who have discovered the serenity and success, of living a surrendered life.
A seeker from the very start
Aylwin Henry Skelchy and Woon Sue May are builders by profession; they own Central Quest Builders, a construction and interior renovation company that’s been around for nearly two decades. Aylwin’s commanding presence is mellowed by the constant twinkle in his eye; he laughs at his own jokes and slips into conversations with ease.
In 1990, when I was 20 years old, I began working with my uncle who was in the theme park business and in 1994, I started Central Quest Builders. My family’s circumstances didn’t allow me to pursue a full degree, so I only have a diploma; it has been God all the way.Aylwin Skelchy
In 1997, a huge project that Aylwin had been hoping would take his company to the next level, fell through. It was a frightening time, for work had commenced and his contracted workers (who turned out to be gang members) began harassing him for payment. He paid out what he could from his own pocket, but the experience left him scarred, lost and desperate.
“My mother has always been a seeker, and so I followed her first to a Chinese temple, and then to a temple in Batu Caves. Although I never professed any of these faiths, I immersed myself in temple activities and assisted in administrative work. I even became the right-hand man of the priest at the Chinese temple,” he remembers. However, after a few years, he felt he was not heading anywhere and left in search of greater meaning.
From self-made man to diehard Christ-follower
It was in 2000, when everyone thought the world was going to end because of Y2K, that Aylwin’s life began. His cousin, who was a Christian and had always been inviting him to explore the faith, asked him a simple question. “Aylwin, do you want gifts?” Now, these were not just any gifts, but supernatural gifts from the Holy Spirit. “These gifts can help you to establish yourself once again, and make a comeback,” his cousin said.
In that season, Aylwin was lost and desperate, so he said yes and gave his life to Christ at his cousin’s church. “When I gave my life to Jesus, my whole body turned into a concrete slab. It was just stuck on the ground and so heavy. Only later did I realise it was the presence and glory of God,” he said.
After that, Aylwin dove headfirst into the faith. He was at the church every day, morning to night. There was an unending hunger to learn and grow; he soon began to understand what church life looked like – the role of pastors and leaders and how faith is organised.
On the day he accepted Jesus, Aylwin also called his long-time girlfriend to share the news. She was a Christian and had been praying for his salvation since they met. But when he excitedly told her what happened, Sue didn’t believe him. “I thought he was just being funny,” she laughs.
A woman of courageous faith and quiet strength
Sue hadn’t been born into a Christian home but had come to know Jesus through friends and Junior Inter-school Christ Ambassadors (JISCA) meetings. Thoughtful and observant, her quiet nature cloaks a deep strength, firm confidence that only comes from knowing one’s purpose and sitting with Jesus. When she speaks, an inexplicable peace fills the room.
Sue’s journey to faith started with her brother, who was the only son and first Christian in the family. Sue honours him as the pillar because her Buddhist parents objected strongly to their newfound faith. She remembers an incident when her brother had been forced to kneel in front of their grandfather’s altar. Standing over him with a steel bar was her father, demanding that his son renounce the Christian faith. As the rest of the family watched with trepidation, her brother calmly replied, “You can ask me to do anything but this, I will not.”
“I remember thinking, “Oh gosh, is that thing going to hit him? Is he going to pengsan (faint)?” But the moment my brother said he would not reject Christ, my dad just dropped the steel bar. And that was it. My brother had made his final stand,” she remembers. That, Sue says, gave her the courage to go on.
But God didn’t stop there. Just before Sue’s father passed on, he miraculously gave his life to Christ. It was a beautiful closure for Sue as she reflected on God’s faithfulness and how perfect His timing is in all things. Acts 16:31 came to pass for Sue’s family, that when one in the household is saved, all will be saved.
Complete opposites, yet companions for life
When Sue was 16, she met Aylwin at a classmate’s birthday party. Aylwin says she caught his attention because she was acting ‘strangely’, running away from boys who tried to make friends with her.
“Aylwin and I are completely different. He’s very gung-ho, very bold and courageous, while I’m the type to wait and see, considering every angle. So it’s really amazing how God brought us together,” she says.
Shortly after Aylwin became a Christian, the couple tied the knot and they actively served in church on weekends. While faithfully serving, Aylwin felt a prompting from the Lord to step back from active involvement, because “the foundations were not strong.” This prompting led them to a pause, a season they call ‘prep time’.
“It was about building strong foundations. God had his way of telling me to get out of my comfort zone, which was to work (serving, doing things). It was time for me to understand who God is, and who I am.”AYLWIN SKELCHY
Season of waiting: “Don’t run ahead of God, don’t run behind Him. Just go with Him.”
During the pause, Aylwin and Sue grew their family and soon, there were three new additions. The Skelchys moved to Sue’s home church and for five years, they remained faithful church goers but intentionally restrained from active involvement. All this time, God was at work, preparing the couple for ministry; He connected them to ministers who moved in the prophetic.
In 2012, after receiving words and confirmation in divine ways, Aylwin and Sue started Destiny Revival Centre, with the initial purpose of building a family altar.
“We felt it was a mandate that God has placed upon our lives. First, we wanted to grow, but nothing seemed to happen. Then our mentor told us to lay everything at the feet of Jesus. Don’t run ahead of God, don’t run behind Him. Just go with Him.”SUE SKELCHY
So they surrendered the work into God’s hands and left the timing in His hands. As Sue says, the key is to be equipped, grounded and ready when the time comes. Aylwin agrees, and in due time, God revealed to both of them that a season of work was to begin again. They joined a cell group, and their ministry unfolded.
Today, Destiny Revival Centre meets online every week, a growing community of Christians from different churches in Malaysia who desire to grow in their faith and be obedient to God’s call.
Kicking things off: Building a holistic pathway for football development
More opportunities started to unfold for the Skelchys as their children grew older, they began to see greater convergence in their impact towards society. It all began with a stranger’s remark. When Hanz their second child was five, he was first ‘scouted’ by a neighbourhood uncle as he was playing with other children in a community park. Aylwin followed through and sent Hanz to a private football academy, and at 10 years old he made the state team. Their youngest, Kyle, also developed a love for the sport and eventually made it to the state level as well.
From 2017 to 2019, both sons were selected to be part of the Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD), Malaysia’s premier youth football academy run by Majlis Sukan Negara. However, Aylwin and Sue felt they wanted a different focus even on the sports front: to build leaders, not just winners.
So in 2018, they started Destiny Football Development Centre (Destiny FDC), a private football academy with an emphasis on good character development.
Authentic relationship is key, not just with players but also with parents
At Destiny FDC, various programmes are offered to budding footballers, from those who want to play recreationally to the select few with the grit to go professional. But what is key, Sue says, is the personal relationship built with parents and players.
“The coaches are definitely closer to the players, but we are also at the training grounds every week as well. It’s not that we want to be kepoh, but we need to be in it to understand what is happening. We can give effective feedback to our coaches and parents also have access to us; they can ask questions and clarify doubts. It’s good for us too, because we identify areas of lack and can quickly act to improve.”SUE SKELCHY
In SJK (C) Lai Meng, four boys who once complained about the heat and couldn’t even kick a ball have now developed into top players, Aylwin shares proudly.
“One of these boys was even offered a spot in another team, but he told the coach, “We’re playing for Destiny, we’ve been impacted here. It has changed us, not just in football. We want to continue and see where we go and what we can do with Destiny,” Aylwin shares.
As word spreads, international doors are opening
The football academy has also caught the eye of international organisations. Four boys were selected for an exchange programme in Germany, and several of their top players have made it into AMD, the first for any private academy.
Destiny FDC has also recently entered a partnership with premier German youth football company Schachter Sports GmbH. In cooperation with Bundesliga team 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Mainz 05), this partnership will see accredited and recognised coaches from Germany bringing their experience and knowledge to Destiny FDC training centres over the next several months. Four Destiny FDC players have also been scouted this year.
“We need to prepare our players to face the world outside Malaysia, whether psychologically, in terms of language, adapting to the culture and food. Destiny’s International Pathway Programme serves children aged 5-17, with transitions at different ages to prepare them for an international football career should they wish to pursue one,” Aylwin explains.
Their sons are part of this programme. Hanz, now 17, rejoined Destiny FDC in 2019 and has been offered an athletic scholarship in the United States. Kyle, now a sprightly 15-year-old, has set his sights on going international as well. Both are lefties (left-footers and the only ones in the family), an added advantage in professional football. A divine arrangement, perhaps.
The pandemic threw a spanner in the works for Destiny FDC, but Aylwin and Sue remain laser-focused on their vision to develop the sport and hopefully, support Malaysia’s pursuit of the World Cup. Destiny FDC also sponsors a refugee team, and on a case-by-case basis, offers revised fees according to each family’s situation.
Since 2018, around 350 children have enrolled in their various programmes. The academy currently has eight training centres in Kedah, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, with its main centre located in Oasis International School, Selangor.
God’s builders of bricks, teams and destinies
Destined to build. That’s the phrase that sticks after meeting Aylwin and Sue Skelchy. Whether it’s buildings, their own family, aspiring footballers or other Christ-followers, Aylwin and Sue are builders of destiny, united and faithful in the work they have been called to do.
For more information on Destiny Football Development Centre, click here.